Bee poo stifles views for north Auckland residents
Whangaparaoa Peninsula residents are feeling the sting this summer as their houses are pelted with free falling faeces.
The excrement, dropped by flying bees, is causing havoc with neighbours, who are struggling to keep their houses, cars and washing faeces-free.
Ten houses on Beauvoir Ave, Roberts Rd and Balboa Ave in Matakatia have been affected to varying degrees, and residents have had enough.
John and Rosemary McGregor, who live on Beauvoir Rd, were among several neighbours who attended the Hibiscus and Bays local board meeting on Wednesday to share their frustration.
"The problem is chronic. It really is. It's not just our windows, it's our cars, our washing, our roof," John said.
"Our view is being stifled by bee poo on our windows. Not just a couple of spots. The whole window."
The waxy excrement, when dry, is very difficult to remove, and has to be scrubbed off.
"It honestly looks like somebody has just used a spray gun on the house," Rosemary says.
The excessive excrement comes from approximately 12 hives of bees held in the residential area.
The houses affected are located beneath the bees' flight paths, and from September to April - when bees are active - it's an almost daily occurrence.
"It seems to us, over the last few years, the beekeepers of Auckland have realised we have Manuka growing and have shifted hives into our area," John said.
"We're looking for, as a point of action, some regulations over the number of hives somebody can keep. We want regulation of people who've got hives so council can reasonably administer and control it."
Beekeeper Grass Esposti says the flight paths of bees, and therefore where their excrement lands, is manageable.
"Unfortunately, whoever has put the hives there hasn't taken into consideration the flight paths," she says.
"Bees don't defecate by their hives - they keep their buns tight and wait until they can get away."
Rotating the hive entrance to face away from neighbouring properties, having an adequate food source nearby and growing hedges or trees are some ways beekeepers can help control where their bees defecate.
Esposti says the plight of bees is of greater priority than dirty houses, but says at Warkworth Beekeepers Club, "we teach our members about the correct positioning of their hives and how to modify bee flight paths where necessary".
Auckland Council will approach the owners of the bee hives.
- Rodney Times